Bishop Emeritus James C. Timlin will celebrate the 60th anniversary of his ordination at the 4 p.m. Mass in St. Peter’s Cathedral on July 16. This is also his 35th year as a bishop.
Bishop Joseph C. Bambera, Auxiliary Bishop Emeritus John M. Dougherty and priests of the Diocese will concelebrate the Eucharistic liturgy.
Bishop Timlin is a native son who received his grade school education at St. John the Evangelist in South Scranton and Holy Rosary in North Scranton. He graduated from Holy Rosary High School and St. Charles College, Catonsville, Md.
He attended St. Mary’s Seminary in Baltimore before enrolling in the North American College, Rome, Italy, where he completed his studies for the priesthood.
Bishop Timlin was ordained on July 16, 1951, in Rome by the late Bishop Martin J. O’Connor, then-rector of North American College.
When asked for his thoughts on his 60th anniversary, Bishop Timlin told The Catholic Light that he had always wanted to be a priest and said he “was so grateful that God called him to priesthood and has allowed him to serve for so many years.”
After ordination he continued theology studies in Rome before returning to the Diocese, where he was appointed assistant pastor at St. John the Evangelist Parish, Pittston, in 1952. On June 12, 1953, he became assistant pastor of St. Peter’s Cathedral Parish, Scranton, where he served until Sept. 12, 1966, when he was named assistant chancellor of the Diocese and secretary to the late Bishop J. Carroll McCormick, the sixth Bishop of Scranton.
He was named Auxiliary Bishop of Scranton on Aug. 3, 1976. He was ordained in St. Peter’s Cathedral on Sept. 21, when he also became Vicar General of the Diocese. In September, 1979, he became pastor of the Church of the Nativity of Our Lord, Scranton.
The late Cardinal John J. O’Connor, the seventh Bishop of Scranton, appointed him chairman of the Board of Advisors for St. Pius X Seminary, and chairman of the Preparatory Commission for the Diocesan Synod in the summer of 1983.
Upon the cardinal’s transfer to the Archdiocese of New York in March, 1984, Bishop Timlin was elected diocesan administrator by the Diocesan Board of Consultors.
Pope John Paul II appointed him the eighth Bishop of Scranton on April 24, 1984, and his installation followed on June 7.
Following his retirement in 2003, Bishop Timlin served as administrator of St. Joseph Parish in Wilkes-Barre for several months. The next year he became rector of Villa St. Joseph in Dunmore, the diocesan residence for retired priests, a position he continues in until July 11.
Bishop Timlin will turn 84 on Aug. 5.